2022 Genealogy New Year: The Anti-Resolution Resolution
It must be my contrarian nature, as I am not one to make promises I won’t keep. I get things done but not usually in a systematic, “finish this before starting that” fashion. Remember I am a firm believer in gophering. And gophering is all about going for one thing and ended up somewhere else. I go off researching one ancestor and end up following another. It’s all good in my play book.
Please don’t make the mistake of thinking I am disorganized as that is not true. There is a method to the madness it’s just not point A to point B. To me that is just boring. I liken it to my Genealogy related traveling. I have a very detailed itinerary with opening times, requirements etc for places I want to visit. It is organized by day and color coded. However, that is mixed with a great deal of flexibility. Things get added and things get dropped. A wrong turn means we end up at a garden or cemetery or church we hadn’t expected. We pull into a parking lot and meet someone who leads us somewhere else. Serendipity is the foundation of Gophering which leads to new discoveries.
So here’s my contribution to New Year’s goal setting. Some ideas for you to ponder.
- Are you still collecting ancestors rather than developing stories about those you have?
- Are you a hoarder of information? Do you share freely or hide your tree behind the it’s a mess excuse?
- Are you enjoying your genealogy research, or are you hating it?
- What do you like to do most? Organize photos? Make New Discoveries? Meet new relatives?
- Do you have an end goal or mini goals along the way?
So here is how I would answer those questions.
Are you still collecting ancestors rather than developing stories about those you have? No I shifted a few years ago to trying to build out the stories of the ancestors I have. I wrote about that here in Reformed Genealogist.
Are you a hoarder of information? Do you share freely or hide your tree behind the it’s a mess excuse? My tree is always public and it appears warts and all with a caveat. In Genealogy we have shared ancestry, hoarding is an anathema to Genealogy. I wrote about that in Greed and Genealogy Don’t Mix
Are you enjoying your genealogy research, or are you hating it? I am loving it. Meeting new people and collaborating brings me joy. I need to write more about that.
What do you like to do most? Organize photos? Make New Discoveries? Meet new relatives? I have discovered that I like researching and writing stories about my ancestors. A couple of Examples One thing Leads to Another: My Ira ALLEN and Ice Cream Melons, Foxes Its the mouth watering details that Bring Ancestros to Life. So my advice is do what “you” love and leave the things you don’t enjoy to someone else. You can use collaboration or hire someone to do what you don’t like to do. Don’t like writing or need help, hire a writer or coach. Don’t have the expertise in German research, hire someone to help. Bottom line do what you are inspired to do. To borrow a phrase from Marie Kondo. Do what “Sparks Joy.”
Do you have an end goal or mini goals along the way? I don’t like major goal setting—as for me—it feels like a set up for failure. I don’t work well that way. If it works for you by all means do it. I prefer to do my goal setting by list making. I create a list of unfinished business and I check it to see what I have not completed or what I still need to do. It is open ended with no time frame and no stress. It’s a gentle reminder of what I “mean” to do (some day or other). I accomplish just as much but without the sense of pressure and failure of unmet goals. I currently have 12 drafts of Blog posts in various stages from just a Title to almost ready to publish. Some people would write one at a time and finish one before starting another. I don’t work well that way—and if you are like me take heart, you never need to set a genealogy goal and feel like a failure again. You can do genealogy any way you like as long as you have fun or enjoy the way you do it.
If anyone makes you feel bad, then I suggest not following their advice. Life is too short to feel bad when you don’t have to. So bottom line is do it any way you wish. If setting goals motivates you, then by all means set goals. If you hate the pressure then try out some benign lists. There is a great satisfaction for me in checking things off. But an unfinished list is just like a shelf full of books—lots of possibilities and I pick the one that calls out to me in the moment.
Kelly Wheaton © 2022 All RIghts Reserved